Nelsons speak at Lanier Library’s Brown Bag Lunch group

Published 10:18 am Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Artist and gallery owner Rich Nelson speaks to the audience at the recent Lanier Library Brown Bag Lunch event. (photo submitted by Ron Pankey)

Lanier Library’s Brown Bag Lunch group, which meets on the third Tuesday of each month, recently welcomed two of Tryon’s artists and gallery owners: Richard and Kimberly Nelson.
The Nelsons described their adventure in finding Tryon to be both a home and a business place. They moved here in 2004 with their three children, and opened Skyuka Fine Art in January 2011.
The couple hails from Detroit. Richard graduated from the College for Creative Studies in 1988 with a B.F.A. Prior to finding his way into painting portraits and landscapes, he was in the Detroit music scene as an accomplished rock musician. He has kept his musical roots alive by being a member of the North Carolina band Wishgrove.
Since graduation, Richard has painted more than 1,000 portraits, mostly commissioned. Richard has been recognized for his portrait work and has earned numerous national prestigious awards over the years. This January he won first place in the Portrait Society of America’s ‘Member Only’ Competition for Commissioned Portraits. The winning painting was of a young girl, Charlotte. Her family traveled from Baltimore to Tryon so she could sit for two days to be painted.
Richard said his works are probably best described as having an Impressionist bent, but with enough realism to bring them to life. He calls this “painterly realism,” which allows the subject to be seen as art but also allows the viewer to get to know the person.
The Nelsons said they had a desire to be part of the community. They said they are interested not only in providing high quality portraits, landscapes and still-lifes but in broadening the artist’s experience for all. Through events from workshops to Gallery Trots, they have been instrumental in providing various venues for people to express and acquaint themselves with a variety of artists, styles and hands-on learning.
The next Tryon Gallery Trot will be March 24 from 5-8 p.m. Nine galleries will be participating, and the event will end at The Pine Crest Inn. Visit Skyuka Fine Art at 133 N. Trade St. or for more information.
Information about Lanier Library’s future Brown Bag events can be found at
– article submitted by Ron Pankey

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